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geneb
01-29-2012, 01:25 PM
A couple of weeks ago I chased down a lead and found a Mylar vendor that can supply material up to 124" wide. It's _cheap_. For example, a 100 foot roll of .5mil @ 96" wide is roughly $200 shipped.

We've also come up with a way around the patent issue - instead of the curved "ears" at the ends of the mirror, it can be more square - something shown as "prior-art" in the patent, but a feature we couldn't use because we couldn't get Mylar wide enough.

What this means is that we're now open to making plans & short kits available to people.

We're looking at two "reference" designs.

The first would be large enough to accommodate standard GA aircraft right around Cessna 152-172 size up to something around a Lear or Cessna Citation.

The second would be a "big iron" display that could be used with cockpits around the size of the Boeing 737.

If there is enough interest, we'll go ahead and get the design work done and I'll build Inventor models so you can see what they'll look like.

However, we're not going to build prototypes for either one of them until there is enough commercial interest. This doesn't mean a bunch of folks going, "Hey! I'd buy that!", it's some number of people (say 5 for this example) willing and able (and actually do!) put down a down payment for a short kit.
We're doing this because building one of these things takes a ton of time and effort when you're writing the manual for it at the same time. The materials aren't cheap either - the prototypes and kit parts will be in 18mm and 12mm Russian Birch - it's a high quality material. It's not the kind of endeavor that either one of us can fund ourselves on the hope that someone might buy one someday. :)

A "short kit" is typically parts that most folks can't make themselves - all the shaped parts, etc. Any dimensional lumber, fasteners, Mylar, projectors, etc. would be supplied by the builder.

We'll also look into providing the vacuum management system - this would likely consist of an Arduino Uno style "shield" and the parts to build a servo controlled bypass gate similar to what you've seen in our videos. Servo not included. :D

There will definitely be size issues you're going to need to be aware of if you're going to build one of these. Our single-seat version is a tight fit in a room with a 9' ceiling. You can just about be guaranteed that the GA display is going to be bigger than that and I shudder to think how much shop space that 7x7 display is going to eat up. :)

Because of the size & scope of this thing, don't expect any concrete results out of us until April-ish.

I'm going to re-post this to various places in order to make sure the folks that are interested see it. :)

Thanks all!

g.

AK Mongo
01-29-2012, 01:44 PM
Gene,

I don't have the space, so it is academic, but what price range would you be thinking for a ga short kit?

Reid

geneb
01-29-2012, 04:03 PM
Gene,

I don't have the space, so it is academic, but what price range would you be thinking for a ga short kit?
Reid

Reid, I wish I could answer that.

The current display probably has about $200 worth of material in it, but as you know the final price wouldn't only be a matter of the raw material. We've got to amortize the cost of some of the R&D as well as machine time, etc. The big question is how much will it cost to ship - I'll have to pack the parts in a wood crate. :)

g.

AK Mongo
01-29-2012, 05:47 PM
...the final price wouldn't only be a matter of the raw material. We've got to amortize the cost of some of the R&D as well as machine time, etc...


Absolutely! Your time is also valuable, and machines wear out if not maintained(or eventually even if they are). I assume that the electricity for your shop isn't free either. You guys have put a great deal of effort into this, and deserve to reward from your labors.

It is great that you may be able to offer this at all!

Reid

geneb
01-29-2012, 10:28 PM
Thanks Reid.

One of the things we're looking at is offering the CAD files & pre-generated files for folks that can find a local fabber via the 100kgarages.com website. That would be an option for those that want to save money and supply their own raw material.

g.

Neil Hewitt
01-29-2012, 10:51 PM
This is awesome news. Makes me wish I was in the same country as you and had a room big enough. One day...

Salire
01-29-2012, 11:07 PM
Hey, that's great news, indeed! Wouldn't it be cool to see this a number of people do this?

S

DeadlyDad
01-30-2012, 12:52 AM
Great to hear about the mylar. One way to both gauge interest and secure funds would be to make the kits a KickStarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/start) project. It's relatively easy to do, and, if there isn't enough interest to meet the goal, nobody is charged a single penny.

Hope this helps!
Keith 'DeadlyDad' Olson

peterkwu
02-10-2012, 02:53 PM
Gene,

That's a huge breakthrough! I'm definitely willing to make a down payment for the large version for my full size B737 sim. I'm comfortable with the short kit concept and can probably find a good local fabricator for the critical pieces and can build the rest myself. I have a nine foot ceiling and lots of width. I've been following your project with great interest and am really excited about the prospect of actually using your product.

Peter

geneb
02-10-2012, 05:45 PM
Peter, I seriously doubt a 737 sized mirror will fit in a 9' ceiling, but Wayne may know different.

g.

CessnaGuy
02-10-2012, 07:52 PM
Hi GeneB

Have you got any images of what the visuals could like?

I would seriously save up the money if I knew that I was getting the product.

Thanks.

Alex

geneb
02-10-2012, 08:50 PM
Alex, take a look around on my YouTube channel. There are a few videos that show what the display looks like from a the user's standpoint, but understand that video cannot show you the full effect of the system. My channel is at http://www.youtube.com/f15sim

tnx!

g.

tmcnam
02-10-2012, 11:16 PM
Hi Gene, I will definitely commit to a large one for my 737 cockpit. Please add me to your list. I will buy whatever type of kit/parts you guys come up with. Let me know when you need the deposit and how much. Thanks for your efforts.
Best regards,
Tim McNamara MD
doc.mcnamara@gmail.com

geneb
02-10-2012, 11:21 PM
Thanks Tim. Keep in mind that it will be some time before we're ready - I'm going into the hospital on Tuesday and won't be working on hobby projects till sometime in March or April.

g.

CessnaGuy
02-11-2012, 07:15 AM
Hi G...

Yes I have seen these videos and didnt realise this was yours! But saying that your probably the only one in the world that has gone as far as 'collimated' for the home sim.

Also, one thing that I noticed, was that you need the vacuum to keep the Mylar in shape, how can you combat the noise problem, would you need a sound proof box and/or whack up your amplifiers a bit!

Next question; Would you not be able to sell the drawings and Mylar as a package? That way we could cnc our own parts and save on over the top worldwide delivery prices. We could fetch our own hardware to make the screen, and follow some sort of guide to make the screen...

Cheers,

Alex

geneb
02-11-2012, 04:45 PM
As far as we know, Wayne & I have built the only DIY collimated display for a home built flight simulator.

The noise problem is easily mitigated by putting the vacuum source in a sound proof (or close to it) enclosure. I haven't taken that step yet as things are too fluid to go that route.

I don't have any problems at all selling just a CD with CAD files on it and a place to buy the Mylar from - the main issue is that while it's relatively cheap to design something like this, it's no where near cheap to build a prototype and write an instruction manual for the whole process. Until some minimum number of kits get pre-ordered, no prototype will be built - it's just too costly for us to shoulder all the costs involved. We couldn't in good faith sell something we hadn't built - there could be some little tiny error hiding in a drawing that makes the whole thing scrap wood.

g.

castle
02-12-2012, 11:33 AM
Gene,

I sent you a PM, but not certain it got through. If received, please acknowledge.

John

peterkwu
02-13-2012, 05:58 PM
6253

Hey Gene,

In terms of vertical space it seems to me that a fixed base B737 simulator built to actual size needs relatively little. Attached is a picture of the front projection screen (designed and built by Art May-Alyea at Northern Flight Sim) that I currently use. In the vertical dimension it is only 33 inches, which I think is close to the same vertical height of the prototype you are building now (forgive me for not taking the time to search back through the threads).

For the forward view especially, the view from the crew seats is very limited in the vertical dimension. I think that was one reason the original 737 (and the 707) had eyebrow windows. The next window back allows a much wider vertical field of view, but I would certainly be willing to give up some reality at the bottom of those side views in order to have a collimated display.

Sorry to hear that you are going to be out of commission for a while... hope everything goes smoothly for you in the hospital.

Peter

geneb
02-13-2012, 07:20 PM
Peter, ball park dimensions for a 737 are a 15'x25' room with a 10' ceiling. The critical dimension isn't the size of the cockpit, it's the position of the screen relative to the mirror.

Once Wayne & I get a chance to flesh ideas out more we'll have more concrete answers for you guys. :)

Me, I plan to spend most of the week counting purple unicorns. :)

g.

tmcnam
03-08-2012, 09:38 PM
Has anyone heard how Gene is doing? Hope all is well and he is well on his way to full recuperation!

Regards,
Tim

geneb
03-08-2012, 09:46 PM
I'm doing very well, thanks Tim. Two more rounds of chemo to do and I expect to be brushing sawdust off my clothing sometime late April. :)

g.

AK Mongo
03-08-2012, 10:31 PM
Glad to hear it Gene!

tmcnam
03-08-2012, 10:39 PM
That's great Gene!! Take it easy until you're a 100%!

Best Regards,
Tim